Research Opportunities

Two 3-year PhD studentships are available from Sept. 2020 on the environment and accretion properties of Active Galactic Nuclei. These positions are funded by the H2020 ITN "BiD4BEST: Big Data analytics for Black-hole Evolution Studies". For more information and other PhD projects of the BiD4BEST ITN visit the BiD4BEST webpage or contact Dr. Antonis Georgakakis.

Applications: Applicants should sent a covering letter, a statement of purpose (one page decribing interests and motivation to pursue a PhD), a Curriculum Vitae and all relevant University transcripts and proof of adequate knowledge of the English language to Dr. Antonis Georgakakis (age@noa.gr) by 01/04/2020. Two recommendation letters should also be sent to the same email address. The PhD degrees for each of the two projects will be awarded by the Universities of Southampton and Durham respectively. For that reason, full applications should also be submitted electronically to the Astronomy Group of the University of Southampton and/or the Centre for Extragalactic Astronomy of the Durham University. Note that deadline and application requirements for the Southampton and Durham PhD programmes may be different.

A detailed description of the projects offered at the National Observatry of Athens:

  • Studying the distribution of accreting supermassive black-holes on the cosmic web: explore the role of environment in the activation of supermassive black holes at the centres of galaxies. Tools and methods will be developed to measure observationally the local density of galaxies in the vicinity of Active Galactic Nuclei. Semi-empirical models will be used/constructed to interpret these results and link the distribution of AGN on the cosmic web with different scenarios for the fueling of supermassive black holes. The PhD project requires both observational and modeling work. It will be carried out in close collaboration with National Observatory of Athens and the University of Southampton and will use the diverse expertise on both observations and theory offered by the BiD4BEST nodes. The successful candidate will enroll to the PhD programme of the University of Southampton but will be physically based at the National Observatory of Athens.
  • Testing evolutionary scenarios of the obscuration properties of Active Galactic Nuclei: this project will use multiwavelength observations to study the accretion properties of AGN (e.g. Eddington ratio) over a wide range of obscuration levels. Any systematic differences will be interpreted in the context of the evolutionary scenario above as well as simple orientation models, whereby the level of AGN obscuration is related to the random orientation of gas and dust clouds relative to the observer. A systematic association of obscured AGN with fast-accreting black holes would provide strong evidence for the evolutionary scenario. Forward-models are expected to be developed for the interpretation of the data. The project will be carried out in collaboration with National Observatory of Athens and the University of Duhram and will use the diverse expertise on both observations and theory offered by the BiD4BEST nodes. The successful candidate will enroll to the PhD programme of the Durham University but will be physically based at National Observatory of Athens.